FFE Magazine

Why yucky habits are flushing out €14.5b from French Economy

Yucky habits are flushing out €14.5b from French Economy

Survey on hygiene reveals battle versus germs is a matter of national concern.


A survey by Centre for Economics and Business Research and cleaning firm Rentokil Initial revealed that germs cost France an astounding €14.5 billion last year in economic losses.


It seems that the stereotype on French hygiene habits had been proven correct by statistics that suggest France is losing money because of employees wasting their time cleaning up after other people’s mess.


According to the study, employees spend around 2.3 days each year cleaning toilets instead of doing their jobs, which is equivalent to a €10.1 billion loss. The rest of the loss is explained by employees taking one sick day a year because of poor hygiene.


The most affected sectors are real estate (€3.1 billion annual loss) and the health industry (€2.4 billion annual loss). Telecom and high-tech industries are the least affected by this trend.


The study also noted that only 49% of the French wash their hands after using the bathroom. Hygiene company Initial France head Virginia Mallet commented ‘In France, we have a hard time admitting that poor hygiene is a factor linked to illness.’


But France isn’t the only one suffering from a case of poor hygiene. Britain lost €13.7 billion last year while Germany followed closely with €12.6 billion.


Mallet said that businesses should play an active role in reminding their employees about the importance of washing their hands before leaving the toilet: ‘All companies can improve their results by attaching more importance to hygiene. But workers must also understand their own role in doing so.’



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